Digital photography tips to take professional photographs

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    08-Sep-2014

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Learn digital photography tips for to make your photographs like a professional.

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  • Photography Basics (the very basics)
  • Too much light creates an over-bright image with white spots: parts of the image are Over-Exposed Too little light creates an under-bright image with black spots: parts of the image are Under-Exposed Getting the best exposure can be difficult in scenes with contrasting light
  • Exposure can be controlled mainly through two lens settings: Aperture and Shutter Speed
  • Aperture is the size of the gap light is let through in the lens similar to an eyes pupil Low f-stop = High aperture = Large gap = More light = Higher Exposure High f-stop = Low aperture = Small gap = Less light = Lower Exposure - Aperture is measured in f-stop numbers (e.g. f/2.1 or f/8.3) - The higher the f-stop, the lower the aperture, the smaller the gap (and vice versa)
  • Shutter Speed is the length of time the cameras lens shutter is open in other words, how long the camera spends taking the picture Long Shutter Speed Short Shutter Speed --Long shutter speeds spend more time letting light in, which can help Long shutter speeds spend more time letting light in, which can help in dark environments and create artistic blur effects with movement in dark environments and create artistic blur effects with movement --Short shutter speeds spends less time letting light in, which allows Short shutter speeds spends less time letting light in, which allows for quicker pictures and the ability to freeze time in great detail for quicker pictures and the ability to freeze time in great detail
  • - To get a good exposure on manual mode, you have to make sure the aperture and shutter speed balance each-other out correctly for the sort of photo you want - Most digital compacts/SLRs on automatic mode will judge the aperture and shutter speed for you when taking a picture but you can still change an exposure compensation setting to alter what it thinks is correct if it gets it wrong Practice makes perfect! Remember: On most SLRs you can switch on: Aperture Priority (you pick the aperture, the camera picks the shutter speed), or Shutter Priority (you pick the shutter speed, the camera picks the aperture compacts usually have this too) depending on which is most convenient for what you want
  • Blurry Blues Have to be careful blur is not always obvious at first! Can be caused by low light, fast movement, unsteady camera, falling out of focus, using long zoom, slow shutter speed
  • - Use a tripod or lean against something firm - Switch on self-timer or use a remote control (some cameras have anti-shake technology) Focus Make sure youre in focus and focusing on the right part: auto-focus sometimes gets confused Switch on macro mode (and use a macro lens on SLRs) when shooting closeups No Macro Macro
  • The longer a picture is being taken, the more chance there is that movement/unsteady camera will cause it to blur so a fast shutter speed is desirable for sharp snapshots (remember you will have to compensate the aperture to keep it in good exposure) No flash Flash Using flash creates enough light to allow a fast shutter speed very good for capturing movement, but short range and can lose background Low ISO High ISO ISO affects the cameras sensitivity to light: Low ISO = less sensitive to light, slower shutter speed (likely to blur in low light, but little grain) High ISO = more sensitive to light, faster shutter speed (less likely to blur, but more grain)
  • Getting the Light Right Getting a professional photograph thats not too bright or dark is about getting the right exposure so make sure your aperture and shutter speed are suitable for the situation (and balancing eachother correctly) Shorter Shutter Speed Shorter Exposur e Longer Shutter Speed Longer Exposur e Longer shutter speeds (or long exposure) capture more detail in dark scenes and can allow for more elaborate light trail effects (though you might not want one or the other, in which case you could balance it with the aperture differently)
  • Low ISO Low ISO, Long Exposure High ISO, Long Exposure Remember aperture, shutter speed, flash and ISO all combine to affect the image be careful not to forget what youve set them to! No Flash Flash Digital cameras sometimes get confused trying to recreate colours, and the picture goes a different tint because the cameras idea of white is off so we can change the white balance setting to compensate: -Automatic: Usually guesses correctly, but not always -Custom: Focus on something white for it to remember Flash can be essential for getting snapshots in the dark, but can lose shadows, reflect off surfaces and lose depth of colour -Tungsten: Indoors, under tungsten/incandescent/bulb lighting -Fluorescent: Under fluorescent lighting -Daylight/Sunny: Outdoors on a bright day -Cloudy: Outdoors on a cloudy day -Flash: To compensate for flash -Shade: In shaded areas
  • Framing the Scene - Digital screens/viewfinders tend to be more accurate in framing the pictures you take - Dont always (or never) shoot your subject in the centre of the shot laying the scene out according to thirds can be more interesting/satisfying - You can use Photoshop or other digital imagery software to crop unwanted bits out of your photos
  • - Vary between landscape and portrait - Try to keep the horizon/background objects lined up straight (unless you are throwing them off for artistic effect) - Try zooming/not zooming where it might not be expected - Rather than capturing the whole of something, try taking a strange angle and shooting just part of it (perhaps close up in macro mode)
  • Final things to remember These are only guidelines every rule has an exception! Theres a lot more to learn and discover! Always remember your framing and exposure! PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT!